10 of the Best Courses in Lisbon

This week’s blog is a guide to ten of the best courses in the Lisbon region. Lisbon boasts everything that you could possibly need or want for your next golf escape from fascinating culture, rich history, brilliant food and drink to luxurious resorts and brilliant golf courses. Oh, and you can enjoy almost year-round lovely golfing weather here! We have compiled a list of our favourite ten courses in the region, so take a look and see if any of them pique your interest for a golf escape…

Aroeira Golf Resort stretches out over 900-acres and boasts two brilliant golf courses: Aroeira I and Aroeira II. The resort is situated just 20 minutes south of Lisbon and boasts a beautiful location on the Setubal Peninsula within a stunning preservation area.

 

Aroeira I was designed by Frank Pennink and opened for play in 1972. The course was an immediate hit and went on to host the 1996 and 1997 Portuguese Opens. The course measures just over 6,100 metres from the back tees. Its lush Bermuda fairways wind through a dense pine forest filled with pine trees. Each hole along the course presents you with a different challenge, the only common theme that the holes have in common is that there is a complete absence of any fairway bunkers. However, despite the lack of bunkers, there are many trees that were strategically left in play to catch any errant shots.

The landscape of the area is perfect for a golf course, it is gently undulating, and you can enjoy the beautiful scenery of wild flowers, wildlife and the preservation area. The front nine are very enjoyable holes with some notable favourites like the downhill par 3 8th which features out of bounds to the right of the hole. The back nine are even better, the signature hole of the course is considered to be the 14th which is a very short par 3 where you play slightly downhill to reach the green which sits behind a very long bunker on the corner of a small lake. This is a beautiful short hole but a difficult one! After your round, enjoy a few drinks in the clubhouse which is lovely and homely.

 

Aroeira II was only opened in April 2000, the course was designed by Donald Steel and is highly regarded as being an excellent golf course. The course measures just over 6,400 metres and was built to European Tour recommendation standards. Much like Aroeira I, Aroeira II is crafted through heavily wooded, gently undulating terrain. Unlike, Aroeira I, Aroeira II boasts six large lakes which are situated along your route and are waiting for any errant shots.

The holes on this course are very long and cleverly designed to use the natural contours of the land, many of the bunkers have a Scottish pot bunker style and are very lethal! The greens are large and slick but to get to them, you must avoid the trees, the sand and the water which is not an easy challenge. It is no surprise that both Aroeira I and II made our list of recommendations; these are impressive, challenging and beautiful courses so don’t miss out on a round on either one of them.

Arguably one of the best golf complexes situated on the Iberian Peninsula is the Ribagolfe complex of 36 holes and it isn’t hard to see why. Both Ribagolfe I and II offer golfers of all abilities an exciting and unforgettable round of golf. The only con of this complex is that it is 30 minutes from Lisbon, 45 minutes from Sesimbra and an hour from Cascais/Estoril. However, it is well worth the drive for any serious golfer.

 

Ribagolfe I only opened for play in 2004 but the course has already matured, each of its holes is memorably beautiful. The course’s main features included cork tree-lined fairways, water hazards and undulating, well-bunkered greens. The course measures an impressive 7,370 yards from the tips and was designed by Peter Townsend with tournament play in mind. However, due to the range of tee boxes, this course can be enjoyed by those with higher handicaps from the forwards tees.

Ribagolfe I plays much longer and tighter than Ribagolfe II which means that accuracy is key if you hope to finish with a good scorecard. The back nine are the most challenging on this course, there are the very long par 5 12th hole and the short par 4 14th. There is also the shortest hole on the course, the all-carry par 3 15th where you must avoid the water which sits to the front left of a raised green which is also flanked on either side by sand. Whether you are a top golfer or an average one, a round at Ribagolfe I will not disappoint.

 

Ribagolfe II also opened for play in 2004 and was also designed by the European Golf Design Company but in collaboration with former Walker and Ryder Cup player Michael King. The course was designed as a members’ course and like its brother course, is routed through cork oak and boasts a fair challenge in lovely surroundings. The course is shorter than its sibling and its fairways are much more open and lead to large, reasonably contoured greens.

Water hazards only come into play on a couple of holes along this course including the short par 4 6th where the creek cuts across right in front of the green. There is also the long par 5 13th where the sane stream cuts through the fairway into a small lake sitting on the right side of the hole. Overall, this course is considered to be slightly easier than Ribagolfe I, but it can still pose a firm but fair challenge to golfers of all abilities. It is no surprise that we highly recommend a visit to the Ribagolfe complex when you are on your next golf break to Lisbon.

 

Situated between the town of Belas and Vale de Lobo, just a short drive from Lisbon city centre is Belas. This course opened for play in 1997 and stretches to a strong 6,280 metres from the tips. A round of golf here is an enjoyable challenge for golfers of all abilities making it a perfect choice for a holiday course.

The course has been carved through valleys and over the rolling slopes of Carreguiera, you can enjoy rugged hillsides, beautifully moulded fairways, large bunkers and areas of treacherous water throughout your round here. There are many impressive holes along the course, but particularly impressive ones include the short par 5 15th which features a stream that cuts the fairway right where those of you who are big hitters would place your tee shot. The green, once you reach it, is back-to-front and slopes which makes your putting difficult. There is also the finishing 18th which is a very strong and watery par 4 where you must carry your approach shot across a U-shaped lake in order to reach the final, narrow green. This is an impressive and scenic golf course situated in an ideal location for anyone holidaying in Lisbon.

 

Lisbon Sports Club is another one of our recommendations. The course was founded in 1922 and was designed by Hawtree and Sons, it is a charming, 18-hole parkland course situated in one of the most picturesque regions just outside of the greater Lisbon area – just 20 minutes from the city. This is a perfect course to play just as you get off the plane due to its location and it works as a great warm-up course at just over 5,200 metres from the back tees.

The course is nestled in a valley and features tree-lined fairways, the main characteristics of the course are raised tees and elevated greens. Right from the first tee, you can enjoy eye-catching holes, the first hole is a par 3 which is played downhill to a heavily-guarded with sand green. Then, you embark on the toughest hole on the course, the 403-metre par 4 2nd. This a brilliant golf course which has some tricky challenges, lovely scenery and boasts a brilliant location, make sure it is one for your must-play list.

 

Golf do Estoril has had the honour of hosting the Portuguese Open 20 times, it is one of Portugal’s oldest courses but has stood the test of time and is still one of the most enjoyable golfing experiences in the country. The course was designed by Mackenzie Ross and features a fairly straightforward layout where you will be rewarded for your accuracy rather than your power shots, this is due to the fact that the course is fairly short at just over 5,200 metres.

The course is set out amongst eucalyptus, pine and mimosa trees and boasts a few water hazards. The main challenge of the course comes from the very narrow fairways and undulating landscape. There are quite a few impressive holes for you to enjoy on this course, but we will mention a few of the standout holes here. The short downhill 3rd and right doglegged 9th are both brilliant par 4s. You also have the left doglegged 14th which is a brilliant hole and the 16th which has been ranked as one of the best par 3s in the whole of Portugal! Golf do Estoril is a fantastic test of golf which is full of history. On your next golf escape to Lisbon, make sure to book yourself a round on this prestigious course.

 

Penha Longa resort is situated to the west of the city of Lisbon and is set in the southern foothills of the Sintra Cascais Nature Park. You can enjoy beautiful landscapes of valleys, hills and rocky outcrops as well as extensive vegetation. There are two excellent courses situated within the resort, but we recommend the championship course – the Atlantic.

The Atlantic was designed by Robert Trent Jones Jnr and opened for play in 1992, it went on to hose the Portuguese Open in 1994. As you make your way around the course, you will find yourself travelling up and down the hills around the south side of the clubhouse, from these peaks you can enjoy the most amazing views of the coastal towns of Estoril and Cascais as well as the Atlantic. Even if the wind isn’t blowing, this course is a stern test of golf to those of all abilities but, when the wind is up, the course becomes a real test.

There are many standout holes along the course including the par 5 6th where the green is beautifully framed by a lake and boasts the backdrop of a medieval arched wall and castle tower. There is also the par 3 15th where you must carry your shot over water, but this shot is often made difficult by the winds! Undoubtedly, the hardest hole on the course is the 16th where you must carry a long drive over a valley before taking your uphill approach shot to the narrow green. This fantastic course is a challenging and beautiful one – not to be missed out on whilst you are taking your next golf escape to Lisbon.

 

Oitavos Dunes course is often ranked within the top five courses in the whole of Portugal and it isn’t hard to see why. The course is located within the Sintra-Cascais National Park and opened for play in September 2001. From the course, you can enjoy stunning views of the Atlantic and the Sintra Mountains. This course was designed by Arthur Hills who only designed two European golf courses as the rest of his accomplishments are set within the USA.

Measuring just over 6,300 metres from the competition tees, the course is not overly long, but it boasts a stunning mix of both woodland and links-style holes that have been beautifully laid in order to make use of the existing landscape. Each and every hole flows well and features strategically positioned hazards and firm, fast greens. The beginning holes are quality but not difficult holes, although they are all tree-lined and feature careful bunkering as well as tricky greens! The following holes boast more of a links feel to them with a sandy ground, dunes and much fewer trees to watch out for. The final two holes require you to venture back into the trees and pose a stern finishing challenge.

There are so many brilliant holes situated along the course but the 14th is probably the signature hole. The 14th is a brilliant par 3 which can play a lot longer than its 153 metres suggests, you play your tee shot across a storm ravine which then runs all the way down the right-hand side of the hole. This is a superb course which can be paired beautifully with a stay at the Oitavos Hotel.

 

Last, but certainly not least, we have Quinta do Peru which is situated to the south of Lisbon between Sesimbra and Setubal. The is one of the most exclusive courses in the region but it is possible to book tee times here if you get in early enough. The course is set within a pine forest which extends to more than 300 acres, you can enjoy the Arrabida Mountains as a backdrop to the course. There is no doubting that this is a very special course, it is routed across a high undulating plateau from which you can enjoy stunning views across the treetops.

Both sets of nine holes begin with very challenging par 5s and finish with extremely difficult holes. The 9th and the 18th are long par 4s. If you decide to take on this course from the back tees, you certainly are in for a challenge due to the huge American-style bunkers and many water hazards, don’t expect to play to handicap during your first attempt on this course. This course boasts an excellent reputation, but make sure to see for yourself what the fuss is about and book your next golf escape today…

We hope that you have enjoyed this week’s blog and that one or more of these courses has piqued your interest for your next golf break to Lisbon. Give us a call today to get your own tailor-made golf escape.

9 of the Best Courses in Murcia

This week’s blog is a guide to nine of the best golf courses in Murcia. The Murcia region sits in the South East corner of Spain and boasts more than 3,000 hours of sunshine each year as well as mild temperatures even in the winter months. There are many golf courses already open for play in Murcia and there are lots more currently being developed. There are several beautiful resorts for you to relax in and brilliant golf courses for you to enjoy. During the month of March, if you book any golf escape with us to Murcia, you can receive half-price return golf club carriage on any flight from the UK to either Murcia International Airport (RMU) or Alicante Airport (ALC). Take a look at some of these courses and choose which are going to make your itinerary this year…

La Manga Resort is one of the top golf resorts in Southern Spain due to its brilliant golf courses, beautiful scenery and excellent accommodation. The La Manga West course is known for being a stern test of golf, for its unique par 3s along the course and its undulating fairway. With blind spots, strategically placed hazards and fast greens, this course keeps its players on their toes. The front nine and the back nine of this course contrast beautifully both in difficulty and characteristics. The front nine are considered to be more challenging than the back nine due to the right greens that demand accuracy in drives in order to avoid the barrancos! The back nine are situated in an elevated position up in the hills with beautiful open greens. Do not be fooled by the fact that the course measures only just beyond 5,700 metres as it really is a challenging one.

Arguably, the signature hole on the course is the concluding 18th. The hole is set in an elevated position and you must make a steep climb up to the green, you will find the tee located on top of a small mountain elevated just above the fairway. On this hole, you can enjoy the most beautiful views across the entire golf course, over La Manga Resort and the surrounding countryside and coast. This is a very special round of golf with an invigorating challenge and breath-taking scenery. With immaculate greens all year round and all of the aforementioned features, you would be silly to pass up on a round here.

 

Next, we have La Manga South which has played host to the Spanish Open five times. The course measures an impressive 6,500 metres from the white tees and poses a stern test of golf that can be appreciated and enjoyed by those of all abilities. It isn’t just the length that poses a challenge but each of the strategically placed hazards, water hazards and palm tree-lined fairways that can damage your scorecard.

The course boasts an idyllic setting in the centre of a valley and each of the greens and fairways is beautifully manicured. The front nine holes are considered to be the more challenging holes due to the length of the holes and an array of different hazards to contend with. Although the back nine are shorter, they still prove to be a stern test of golf to those of all abilities. The course boasts some challenging par 3s along the course which are over 200 metres long as well as some tough, long par 4s which feature difficult doglegs. Once you reach the greens, they are fairly forgiving but you must be long off the back tees and accurate if you are hoping to score well on this course. Arguably, the signature hole on this course is the finishing 18th. On this hole, you will have to navigate your way around multiple bunkers and water hazards in order to reach the well-protected green.

 

El Valle Golf Resort is one of the Nicklaus designed course situated in the Murcia region just 30 minutes’ drive from San Javier airport. The course opened in 2007 and has since won many awards for being a spectacular round of golf. The course is situated in a valley of natural desert and its fairways curve around the mountain range. El Valle is not an overly long or short course at 6,990 yards from the back tees, but it boasts many elaborately sculpted bunkers and three large lakes to test your accuracy as you make your way around the course.

You must not be distracted by the course’s beautiful scenery as there are a number of crowned greens which are surrounded by large, mown chipping areas so you have a variety of short-game options around the greens. There are also smaller, more subtly shaped bunkers which are all lying in wait for any errant shots you may hit. After your round, enjoy a drink and a meal within the clubhouse whilst you reminisce over your round and enjoy stunning views over the course. With a stunning setting and an interesting layout, make sure that El Valle is on your radar for your next golf break.

 

Another suggestion from us for your next golf holiday to Murcia is Hacienda Riquelme golf course which opened for play in 2008 as part of the Nicklaus Golf Trail. The same as El Valle, the course stretches to 6,990 yards from the back tees and can provide golfers of all abilities with an excellent and exciting round of golf. The course is nestled in the heart of a desert valley and boasts an idyllic landscape for you to enjoy whilst making your way around the course. Also much like El Valle, it is just 20 minutes’ drive from San Javier making it positioned perfectly for a golf weekend or a longer break.

Many of the natural features of the land have been incorporated into the course so it really blends in with its surroundings. Even though the course is not especially long, it boasts wide fairways and open greens which make it seem longer than it is. However, with these wide fairways, golfers should not be complacent as there are still many challenges for you to contend with throughout the round. The course routes its way in and out of olive groves, wildflower meadows and huge lakes and although you have space to manoeuvre, you still must be careful. This is a fantastic round of golf and is one that can be paired beautifully for a golf break with a stay at Intercontinental Mar Menor and other golf courses in the area.

 

The Roda Golf Course is widely considered to be one of the best courses in Murcia. The course was designed by Dave Thomas and you are guaranteed to enjoy your round here. The course is situated just a mile from the nearby beach resort of Los Alcazares and just five minutes’ drive from Murcia Airport. Roda Golf boasts a parkland layout which beautifully incorporates many of the landscape/s natural features in order to create this fantastic golf course. The greens are undulating, there are many strategically placed bunkers and often, there is the sea breeze in play, all of these features combine to create a challenging but exciting round of golf.

A lovely feature about this course is that although the greens are undulating, the fairways are fairly flat which means that golf buggies are not often required so you can enjoy the beautiful scenery on foot. The signature hole of the course is the par 3 7th which is without a doubt, the most scenic hole of the course and also one of the most difficult even though it only measures 174 metres long. The hole’s green is an island surrounded by water and you must use a medium of short iron in order to score well here. The Roda Golf Course is a brilliant and beautiful holiday course which is why it made our list of recommendations for your next golf break to Murcia.

 

Lo Romero Golf is up next; this course boasts a stunning location set within an orange and lemon orchard just a short distance from the beach. This course has been widely labelled as the “golf island” and it isn’t really surprising due to the layout of this special course. The course measures just over 6,000 metres from the yellow tees and spans its way across a beautiful and tranquil landscape. This secluded course means that you can enjoy your round in peace and really soak up the surroundings of this course and enjoy an unforgettable round of golf.

The course boasts an elevated position which means that you can experience sweeping views of the surrounding orchards throughout the round. This course is not especially long but it is brilliant for both amateurs and experienced players due to the range of tee boxes that you can choose from. However, it is a challenging but fair course characterised by wide fairways and many strategically placed bunkers. Due to its seaside location, it is not rare for there to be a sea breeze in play either which can add to the challenge. This is a unique golf course with breath-taking landscape and many distinctive holes – make sure to add this course to your list of must-play courses.

 

Hacienda del Alamo is a new course in the Murcia region as it only opened for play in 2016, this Dave Thomas designed course is a pristine golfing oasis which is surrounded by beautiful natural landscape and poses a stern challenge of golf to those of all abilities. The course stretches to over 7,400 yards from the back tees which makes it one of the longest courses in Spain. The fairways of the course wind their way through almond and olive groves and they feature several water hazards along the way. Although due to its length, you must hit long shots, you must also be accurate as there is some stern rough lying in wait for any errant shots from the tee.

The first nine holes of the course are fairly straightforward but feature many bunkers to contend with. The back nine pose more of a challenge as there are more undulating fairways and much smaller greens for you to tackle. The signature hole of the course is the par 5 18th which takes you up towards the elegant clubhouse and boasts a water feature on the left flank of the green. This is a brilliant round of golf and it is well worth the drive that you must take into rural Murcia to reach this course.

 

The Alhama Signature Course is also known as the Condado de Alhama Golf Course and is a brilliant 18-hole golf course designed by Jack Nicklaus. The course only opened in 2009 and has already established itself as being one of the best courses in the region of Murcia and it isn’t hard to see why! The course is a little further away from San Javier Airport than the other Nicklaus designed ones but is still within easy access of the airport making it a perfect holiday course.

The course is set within beautiful landscapes and features the Sierra Espuna mountains as a dramatic backdrop to the course. The natural features of the land have been subtly incorporated into the design of this course, meaning that the greens are lined with pine trees as well as esparto grasses and herbs making for a brilliant and fragrant round of golf. Similar to other Jack Nicklaus designed courses, there are many strategically placed bunkers lying in wait for any errant shots. The course stretches to over 7,500 yards from the back tees and poses a stern challenge to golfers of all abilities. Not only are there 116 sand-filled bunkers but there are four lakes strategically dotted across the course so you must anticipate a challenge at every turn on this course. Of course, along with the challenges come stunning views across the rustic countryside of Murcia – it isn’t hard to see why this course has gained a reputation for being one of the most attractive courses in all of Spain. With stunning scenery and an interesting layout, add Alhama Signature Course to your itinerary for your next golf escape.

 

Last, but certainly not least, we have Golf Altorreal which was designed by the world-renowned architect, Dave Thomas. The course opened for play in 1994 and is still recognised today as being one of Murcia’s most challenging golf courses. The parkland course is situated in the picturesque Murcia mountains and boasts perfectly manicured greens and excellent practice facilities. Much of the natural fauna and flora of the landscape has been incorporated beautifully into the design of the course to create a classically beautiful Spanish landscape. There are also many pine trees, olive groves and carob trees along the course.

Each of the 18 holes poses a different challenge due to the different features of each hole. On this round, you will use every club in your bag! Although the course is a long one, you need to be accurate and strategic in order to navigate your way around the tight fairways and finish the round with a good scorecard. The most challenging hole of the course is the strong par 5 6th hole which measures 540 metres from the white tees. You must hit an accurate tee shot in order to avoid the tricky lake which lies to the left of the green. However, if you hit too far to the right, you will find the out of bounds area. For a brilliant round of golf, look no further than Golf Altorreal.

 

We hope that you have enjoyed this week’s blog and that some of these courses have taken your fancy for your next golf escape to Murcia. If you need further reasons to book now then for a limited time only you can take advantage of our half-price golf carriage promotion in order to get yourself an even better offer. This deal is only available for a limited time so be sure to contact us for more details before it’s too late.

9 of the Best Courses in Morocco

This week’s blog is a guide to the top nine courses in Morocco. These courses are all excellent with brilliant facilities. Nearby to the courses, you can find luxurious and brilliant resorts for you to stay within whilst you explore the best golf, culture and food that this country has to offer.

 

Mazagan is a world-class golf club and despite only opening in 2009, has already established itself as one of the most prestigious courses in Morocco. The course was designed by Gary Player and is definitely not a disappointment. A round of golf here is unforgettable and is an exciting challenge for golfers of all handicaps as there are multiple tee boxes for players to choose from. The course boasts a stunning layout which lies across the coast next to the Mazagan Hotel and adjacent to a stretch of beautiful, golden sands. You can enjoy fantastic, panoramic views from most points along the course.

The signature hole of the Mazagan is arguably the 6th hole which is a par 4, 440-yard hole. You play a majority of the hole uphill where you must dedicate all of your attention to the hole if you are to score well. You must not be distracted by the stunning views of the ocean as the ocean breeze can take you by surprise on this hole. Your tee shot must be carried across sand dunes in order to reach the fairway where you must navigate your way around four strategically placed bunkers. Your approach shot is a long one to a raised green which is lined with three deep bunkers! Many of the holes around the course are as challenging as this one but for those with higher handicaps, they can enjoy the fact that many of the fairways are very wide! This is an excellent holiday course and paired with the Mazagan Beach Resort it makes the ideal golf escape to Morocco.

 

The 36-hole complex of Golf du Soleil was designed by Fernando Muella and Gerard Courbin and sits deep within the heart of a eucalyptus forest. The course boasts a range of hard to navigate hazards including large water features and many strategically placed bunkers. This is a very prestigious golf course which is evident from the course due to its perfectly manicured greens and beautiful setting. The complex boasts the Tikida course and the Championship course.

The Tikida course boasts a parkland feel and boasts much African vegetation. The course features many water hazards and unique holes making a round here very memorable. The 7th and 8th holes are particularly impressive due to their strategically placed water hazards!

 

The Championship course has played host to many tournaments including the Ladies European Tour in 2011 and EPD Tour. With spacious bunkers, large water hazards and stunning views, this is a challenging but scenic course! This is the more challenging of the two courses and measures an impressive 5,976 metres from the back tees. Whichever of the courses you choose to take on at the Golf du Soleil complex, you will not be disappointed as either of these courses would make the perfect addition to a golf break to Morocco.

 

Situated just 10km from the city of Agadir lies Golf Les Dunes. This course was created in 1991 by Cabell Robinson who has created an impressive golf course here with each and every one of the holes boasting its own character and unique layout. The course comprises of 27 holes and extends over 250 acres of stunning, hilly terrain. The course lies at over 6,000 metres from the back tees and its fairways are lined with eucalyptus and palm trees. Along the course, you will find four different lakes and other hazards which are all lying in wait for any errant shots. There are three loops of nine holes for you to enjoy here and each of them is special in its own way. The Oued nine have narrow fairways and this set of holes poses the sternest challenge to golfers of all abilities. The Tamaris nine boast many strategically placed water hazards and the Eucalyptus nine feature wider fairways and make a perfect round for those with higher handicaps. Whichever route of holes you choose, you will not be disappointed by taking the time to play a round on this brilliant course.

Assoufid Golf Club only opened in October 2014 but has already gained. Stellar reputation for being one of the best courses in Morocco, if not THE best. The course is set against the backdrop of the snow-capped Atlas Mountains. This course is such an exciting round of golf both skill-wise and visually. The course sits at just over 7,000 yards from the back tees and blends effortlessly into its surroundings of the desert. You can find olive, cacti and palm trees here as well as many hazards waiting to catch any of your errant shots.

The par 4 5th hole is arguably one of the toughest holes on the course. You play from an elevated tee and the fairway is flanked on either side by desert as it rises directly towards the Atlas Mountains. If you can play your tee shot to the left, you will be able to see the flag for your approach shot much better. The tee for the par 3 17th hole is situated at the highest point on the course, from here you can enjoy panoramic views of each of the back nine holes. This hole is undoubtedly the signature hole of the course. You must carry your tee shot over a natural dry stream which runs through the course before you can reach the wide but shallow and well-protected green. This is such an impressive course and we would highly recommend that you add this to your itinerary for your next golf break to Morocco.

 

Noria Golf Club opened in early 204 and was designed by Steve Forrest. His vision was that the course would celebrate traditional Moroccan landscape and architecture and he definitely didn’t disappoint. This unique course plays with the stunning backdrop of the Atlas Mountains much like Assoufid. You can enjoy three different landscapes during your round here: the orchards, the gardens and the dunes of rural Marrakech. The course runs at just over 6,500 yards from the back tees and boasts a memorable and exciting challenge of golf for those of all handicaps. The complex consists of two par-36 nine-hole loops which wind through the course’s original landscape.

Without a doubt, the signature hole of Noria Golf Club is the 175-metre 8th which is played from an elevated tee position across a reflecting pool to a rectangular Biarritz green which sits between the water and an authentic Moroccan bell tower. This simple but visual hole will create memories for golfers that will last long after they have left Marrakech. The round of golf ends in brilliant style with the 18th hole returning to the 9th’s long water channel. You can find a traditional Moroccan irrigation system with open pits which lead to an abandoned underground canal by the tee box. This is a challenging hole with a diagonal line of bunker protecting the green and there is a lot of water to the left of the fairway! When in Marrakech, make sure to take the time out of your break to play this magnificent and authentic course.

Next up, we have Samanah Golf and Country Club which is one of the newest courses to open in Marrakech. The course runs at 6,800 metres from the back tees which makes it the longest course in the area but there are five tee boxes for you to choose from making this course suitable for those with higher handicaps as well. This course provides golfers with a brilliant test of golf right from the first tee shot. You can enjoy breath-taking views of the snow-capped Atlas Mountains whilst you take on the challenge.

There are a few stand-out holes along the course including the short par 4 6th hole which offers you a decent birdie opportunity if you are able to avoid the water which sits on the right-hand side of the green. The 8th which is a par 3 is another special hole on the course. You play this hole across an area of scrub and sandy waste to reach the green which gently tilts from back left to front right. However, the signature hole of the course is the 15th where you must carry your approach shot over a wide gully which is situated just 100 yards short of the green. There are a few courses within this blog located in the Marrakech area including Samanah Golf and Country Club, we highly recommend that you take a look at them and start planning your next golf escape now…

 

Royal Palm Golf and Country Club is considered to be one of the most spectacular courses in Morocco and it isn’t hard to see why. The course was designed by Cabell Robinson and is the newest addition to the growing golfing portfolio that you can find in Marrakech. The course extends to 6,608 metres from the back tees and plays to a par of 72. The holes of the course are routed around five sparkling lakes with Bermuda fairways and tees and A4 bentgrass greens in play. This course only opened for play in 2013 but you can’t tell that so much earth was moved during the construction of this course as it blends so effortlessly into its surroundings now. You can find a variety of different shrubs, flowers and trees along the course which all bloom at different times of the year.

There are many feature holes along this brilliant course including the short par 4s at the right dog-legged 3rd and the left dog-legged 14th. The favourite hole of the course is the long par 4 15th which veers off to the left and then downhill to the large, long green which is heavily guarded by bunkers on three out of its four sides. This course lies to the south of Marrakech, next door to Samanah Golf Club and nearby to Noria and Assoufid. A perfect golf break would be to stay within the Movenpick Mansour Eddahbi Marrakech and enjoy rounds on all of these special courses…

 

Our eighth course that we recommend is Palm Golf Ourika which is situated to the south of Marrakech, close to the Atlas Mountains. This course opened for play in 2015 and has built up a good reputation for itself. The course measures a very long 6,692 metres from the back tees and the holes wind their way around a 180-acre residential estate. You can find wide and generous fairways which are bounded by large, sandy waste areas. There are also six lakes which come into play during the round. Despite these lakes, the course still boasts a desert-like feel. This luxurious golf course is playable all year round and boasts stunning views of the Atlas Mountains. This is another very special course located in Marrakech, there are some brilliant hotels in the area which you must check out as there is something for everyone.

Last, but certainly not least, Al Maaden Golf Course. The course was designed by the famous American architect Kyle Philips and opened in 2010. Since then, it has developed a brilliant reputation as a course which boasts a great challenge for players of all abilities due to its assortment of hazards and multiple tee options. The course measures an impressive 6,644 metres from the back tees which may seem daunting to those with a higher handicap, but they can always choose a further forward tee box. You will find undulating fairways, strategically placed bunkers (104 to be exact!) and plenty of water hazards coming into play during your round here. Al Maaden has a distinct Scottish links feel which is unusual for a Marrakech golf course.

You will find some brilliant holes whilst you are enjoying your round here but the concluding 18th hole which will stay in your mind for long after you leave this golf club. The 18th is a long par 4 at 444 metres long. You must drive accurately over one of the largest lakes of the course if you are to give yourself a good second shot. Another very special hole situated in Morocco – it is time to start planning your next golfing getaway!

 

We hope that you have enjoyed this week’s blog and that you are excited by the thought of a round at one or more of these superb golf courses. Give us a ring today to discuss your options for your next golf break to Marrakech where you can find warm weather for most of the year along with luxurious hotels and brilliant golf.

9 of the Best Courses on the Costa del Sol

This week’s blog is a guide to nine of the best courses situated on the Costa del Sol. Whether you are looking for courses to base your next golf escape around or for inspiration for a golf break, look no further than one of these superb courses.

 

Santana is one of the newest golf courses on the Costa del Sol and has been constructed to a very high standard by Cabell Robinson. The course has been built on an avocado plantation and boasts the backdrop of the majestic Mijas Mountains. Despite the fact that this is one of the newest courses to have opened on the Costa del Sol, you wouldn’t know it as the course blends so beautifully into its surroundings – it could have been here for years and years.

The course is not the longest course in the area at just over 6,200 metres from the back tees, but it still poses a stern challenge to golfers of all abilities. There are many strategically placed bunkers and unusually-shaped, deep greens to contend with along your route round the course. There are also a few water carry-overs required as well. One of the most special holes on the course is the par 5 4th which is an incredibly long and spectacular hole with sophisticated bunkering, a little stream which lies in wait for your errant shots and a treacherous sloping green. With its unique ground, stunning scenery and an impressive layout has meant that this course will be on many players’ itinerary in the coming years. Make sure that this course is one you look out for an opportunity to play; the course is situated between Mijas and Fuengirola where you can find an abundance of brilliant properties to base yourself.

 

Next up, we have Real Club Valderrama which has been home to many prestigious golfing tournaments including the Ryder Cup in 1997 and the World Golf Championships in 1999 to 2002. This club regularly ranks within the top 10 courses in Europe and it really isn’t hard to see why. The club is an elite private members club, but you can still play during the set tee times for outside players. The green fee is not cheap but if you can justify it, definitely take your chance to play this incredible golf course as you really will remember the experience forever.  

The course is beautifully in tune with its surroundings and it is always in perfect condition as the course is never over-played. The closing holes are considered to be the most difficult holes of the round but if you choose your tee option correctly, the whole course is playable for golfers of most abilities. The 17th is particularly special and it boasts water situated just in front of the green. This special course is one that should be on every discerning golfer’s bucket list so make sure that when you can, you grab the opportunity to book a tee time here.

 

A superbly challenging course; San Roque Old is a challenge for those of all abilities and boasts gently undulating, narrow fairways, large greens and many water hazards. The San Roque Club lies nestled in the foothills of the Sierra Bermeja Mountains and the Old course is set within a 340-acre estate where a luxury hotel and spa once sat. The course was designed by Dave Thomas and Tony Jacklin and opened for play in 1990. From the moment that the course opened, it has been regarded as a great test of golf, even for those with the lowest of handicaps. The course measures just under 6,500 metres from the back tees and has been the home to many professional tournaments in the past.

Although the course is considered to be undulating rather than hilly, there are some shocking elevation changes which mean that you must make your club selection correctly. The front nine of the course meander their way through mature forests of cork oak which means that your drive must be accurate to avoid the trees which are all lying in wait to catch any errant shots. There are new bunkers and water hazards which make it that bit more challenging. The back nine holes are less undulating but there are deep ravines and many bunkers lying in wait for errant shots. On some courses, once you reach the greens, your work is pretty much over but on this course, the greens are superbly contoured, always fast and generous in size. This is another very special course and is close to Valderrama so you can plan a golf break around these superb golf courses.

 

Torrequebrada golf course was designed by Jose Gancedo and was actually one of his first designs back in the mid-70s. The course isn’t overly long at 6,400 yards from the back tees but do not let its length fool you into thinking that this course is an easy round of golf. The course hugs the contours of its hilly landscape and tests golfers of the lowest handicaps with strategically positioned water hazards, doglegged fairways and deep, greenside bunkers.

The fairways are all tree-lined and they rise and fall over the hilly terrain, twisting and dipping in all directions making this a fun, challenging and exciting round of golf for all players. There are some particularly scenic and unusual holes situated along the course including the 7th which boasts an elevated tee, you must take the tee shot over a city street to a very narrow fairway. We would advise you not to use the driver as there is a lake guarding the hole which is tucked into the left corner. Like many brilliant courses, the 18th is a superb finishing hole. It boasts a grand view from the tee which is situated to the left of the fairway at the top of a hill, from which you can see both the 18th and the 6th fairways, the clubhouse and the stunning mountain backdrop. The tee shot is across a ravine and if you miss the fairway you are in trouble as there are sharp slopes to the left and bunkers to the right. Your approach shot must also be accurate as you have the same steep hill to the left and a large bunker to the right – this hole can ruin many scorecards. This course is definitely worth the green fee and is one that you should take a look at when you are planning your next golf escape to the Costa del Sol…

 

Chaparral Golf Club is one of the most recognisable golf courses in the Costa del Sol. It is a superb parkland course situated just 700 metres from the beach and enclosed by a forest of pine trees. The course follows the beautiful coastline of Mijas Costa which is just a short drive from the centre of Malaga and each of the holes along the course boasts stunning sea views. It is no surprise that this course is one of the most requested courses and regularly ranks as one of the top courses in Spain due to its stunning layout and beautiful location.

The course boasts undulating fairways which meander through dense, tree-lined fairways, if you manage to successfully navigate your way through the trees, avoiding the strategically placed bunkers then you will reach big greens with big borrows! One of the standout holes is the 477-metre long, 3rd hole which looks like a straightforward par-5 but it actually doglegs left and your tee shot must be placed down the right-hand side of the fairway in order to see what you must do for your second shot. The green is very long and narrow and there is a ditch which cuts diagonally across the fairway 100 metres from the green. This is a very special course and it is no surprise that is one of our most requested courses.

 

Next, we have the Marbella Club which is a very impressive and exclusive golf course situated just a few miles west of Marbella, nestled in the foothills of the mountains. The course opened in 1999 and was designed by Dave Thomas. One of the great things about this course is that the club only allows 75-80 players to play the course each day in order to keep it in good condition and to make sure that you can enjoy your round at your own pace. The course was designed to test golfers of all abilities with its strategically placed bunkers, well-manicured greens and sloping fairways.

The course measured just over 6,900 yards from the back tees and has a hefty par of 73 to match the course’s yardage. The two loops of nine holes are routed over hilly terrain and both return to the impressive clubhouse at the lowest points on the course. A round on Marbella Club is a great, exciting one and due to its location, you can find other brilliant golf courses and some superb resorts to base your golf break from.

 

Alcaidesa Links is one of the best links courses in Spain. The course was opened in 1990 and then remodelled in 1999 where its playability was improved, fairways were widened and some of the more severe undulations of the greens were ironed out. This undulating, cliff-top seaside course boasts stunning views over the Mediterranean, the Straits of Gibraltar and the Atlas Mountains in North Africa in the distance.

The course boasts a classic out-and-back routing, the first four holes head towards the shoreline and the mile-long beach, holes five to 14 play out along the coast where the wind will challenge you. The fairways then head back inland to finish the round in front of the clubhouse. If you are looking for an impressive course with stunning views, an interesting layout and one that poses a challenge to golfers of all abilities then look no further than Alcaidesa Links for your next golf break.

 

Finca Cortesin was designed by the world-famous architect, Cabell Robinson. The layout of this course is simply spectacular, it is a long one at 6,808 metres and boasts a variety of natural vegetation like olive trees and corks around the course. It opened for play in 2007 and has since built up a great reputation and the course has played host to European Tour events including the Volvo World Matchplay Championship.

There are many great holes within the course but there are a few very special ones. The 3rd hole is a delightful par-5 which boasts a difficult approach shot over water. There is the 10th which is a long, down-hill par-3 which has far-reaching views of the Estepona Mountains. This brilliant hole is followed by the 11th which is a double doglegged par-5 which is a stern test of golf and an exciting hole to play. The club boasts excellent practice facilities and a lovely clubhouse. In 2008, the five-star Finca Cortesin Hotel, Golf and Spa opened which is a perfect place for you to base your next golf escape from. Although a tee time at Finca Cortesin is not cheap, it is well worth it, and you will not be disappointed.

 

Last, but certainly not least, we have Rio Real which is one of the oldest courses in the area as it opened in 1965. This course is one of the coast’s most requested courses due to its superb condition, excellent value and very convenient location just north-east of Marbella. This is a delightful, walkable golf course as the terrain is just gently undulating. The course has retained much of its original charm with its pine and palm tree-lined fairways, well-bunkered green sites and a few water hazards for you to contend with along the way.

One of the most memorable holes along the course is the par-4 4th hole which doglegs left from the background sound of the traffic on the tee to the crashing of waves on the seafront. The green is located right on the coastline. You can find another long, par-4 at the 8th hole which is a brilliant hole that veers left from an elevated tee position and ends with a downhill approach to a very small green that is situated into the hillside. This is a very special course and boasts the great Rio Real Golf Hotel from which you can easily play this stunning course and those in the local area.

 

We hope that you have enjoyed this week’s blog and that you will think about one, or hopefully more, of these courses next time you are booking a golf escape to the Costa del Sol. Make sure to give us a call to discuss these courses and the brilliant hotels in the area.

9 of the Best Courses in Belek

This week’s blog is a guide to the seven best courses in Belek. Belek, Turkey is a brilliant golfing destination for several reasons. Firstly, it is widely known for its excellent-value all-inclusive golf holiday options, secondly, you can enjoy an all-year-round warm climate. Lastly, you can find some truly stunning resorts and beaches in the region. Take a look at these courses to see whether they catch your eye as potential bases for your next golf escape…

 

Carya is the most recent golf course to open in Belek. The course stretches over 7,186 yards and is a demanding test of golf with some stunning holes which run between pine and eucalyptus trees and across a dramatic sand ridge. A great thing about this course is that it is independent from any hotel in the area which is rare in Belek, this means that you can book a round here very easily regardless of where you are staying. You can also enjoy a round in the evening as the course has floodlights to allow guests to do so – this may be a great option in the summer months when the heat is stifling during the day.

It is no surprise that this course is rated as one of the best courses in the region. It has a fantastic layout and is always in immaculate condition. The course boasts a very challenging finishing stretch beginning with the 13th which is a dog-leg before the uphill par-3 14th where you will struggle to land and stay on the green. The par-5 15th boasts a blind tee shot and a challenging approach to the green where you must carry the ball over water. You can finish the round with three marvellous par-4s and then go and get a well-deserved drink in the clubhouse! This course is a must-play when you are on your next golf escape to Belek and it isn’t hard to see why.

 

Titanic Golf Club (formerly TAT International) boasts 27 holes of brilliant golf and was one of the first complexes to be developed when Martin Hawtree designed this 27-hole layout on 325 acres in 1997. The club boasts three loops of nine holes – River, Mediterranean and Forest. Each of the loops features two par 3s, five par 4s and two par 5s so that you can play to a par 72 no matter which of the two loops you choose to play.

This course is a beautiful one and is quite different from many of the other courses that are situated in Belek. There are some breath-taking holes which run alongside the beach which are great, especially as they are more open, and you have more room to make a few little errors along the way. The par 3 4th hole on the River loop is played with you facing inland towards the mountains. You tee off from the elevated tee situated in the dunes towards a green which sits behind a lake which you can only reach by hitting to the right. On the Mediterranean loop, the pick is the par 4 12th hole which plays along the coast, out of bounds sits to the right and there is a large pine tree on the left at the landing area so you cannot be overly cautious with your tee shot here! Finally, the 22nd hole on the Forest begins with you having to take a blind tee shot and finishes with the green which is heavily-guarded on three sides by water, your best bet is to lay-up with the second shot and then pitch and putt. This is a fantastic club and one which is well worth a visit during your next golf break to Belek.

Next up we have Sueno Pines which is a fantastic course situated within the grounds of the luxurious Sueno Hotel and Golf Club. Both courses situated here are routed over a 400-acre site and flow through umbrella pines and over the sandy terrain of Belek. This course boasts plenty of pine trees and strategically placed bunkers which are lying in wait to catch any errant shots. There is also a healthy splash of water hazards to cause you some difficulty along the way.

The opening hole of this course is a fairly easy one which is great for a holiday course as it allows you to get into the swing of things before things get a little trickier. Look out for the short, par 4, 12th hole which is situated amongst ancient pine trees and flanked by waste bunkers. The 13th is another tricky one as it is a long par 3 where you travel through a valley in order to reach a difficult tabletop green. The finishing hole is a cleverly designed, par 4 that presents a visual illusion from the tee, it seems as if the drive is impossibly tight but there is more room than first meets the eye. This is arguably a top-notch golf course and can be completed with a perfect stay at the Sueno Golf Hotel.

The Montgomerie Maxx Royal is one of Belek’s most popular golf courses and it isn’t hard to see why. The course boasts a stunning landscape and offers golfers of all abilities a challenging and enjoyable round of golf. The course opened in 2008 and quickly gained a stellar reputation as in 2015, the course played host to the PGA Tour’s Turkish Open.

Stretching over 6,522 metres long, the course is situated within 104 hectares of pine forest, dotted with sandy ridges and due to its coastal location, you can enjoy a cooling breeze during the summer months. The course gets off to a gentle start with a straightforward par 5 but it soon becomes a stern challenge from the 4th which is a difficult but impressive par 5 over water. On the back nine, you will find fewer water hazards but more strategically placed bunkers to catch any of your errant shots. The finishing hole is a special one, it is a spectacular par 5 where you must carry your tee shot through a narrow gap in the pines leaving you to hit your 2nd shot to the raised green which is guarded by a bunker to the front and water to the left. After your round, make sure to enjoy the clubhouse’s facilities and have a few drinks. This is a brilliant golf course and a round here is the perfect addition to any golf escape to Belek.

Designed by David Jones and David Feherty, the National Golf Club was the first course to be built in Belek and not only is it the most established, but it is one of the trickiest courses in the region. There is an abundance of umbrella pines, water hazards and many challenging doglegs for you to contend with if you are hoping to score well on this round. You can tell that this was a very thoughtfully designed course as it is routed across gently rolling terrain, through mature pines and eucalyptus trees. There is beautiful scenery surrounding the course with the snow-capped Taurus Mountains providing the backdrop.

This is a tight track of a course and sometimes, you have to drive through a chute of trees from the tee box or thread an approach shot through a narrow entrance to a green. All in all, it is unlikely that you will need your driver too much on this course. There are some excellent and memorable holes on this course including the 7th which is a right doglegged hole and the 9th which has a split fairway leading up to the green. On the back nine, there is the par 5 12th which requires you to swing left from the tee and avoid the ditch which crosses the fairway before rising steadily to a wickedly sloping double-tiered green which is perched on top of a ridge. After your round, enjoy a few drinks and a snack in the homely clubhouse whilst reminiscing over this fantastic golf course.

 

Lykia Links is situated within the Lykia Estate and boasts 18 brilliant holes of golf. The course sits a little further out from the Belek golf strip by a river estuary that runs into the Mediterranean Sea. The course measures an impressive 7,536 yards from the back tees and is the only links course in Turkey. Each of the 18 holes boasts stunning sea views and holes 13 through to 16 run alongside the ocean as the fairways meander through sand dunes and pot bunkers.

Along the course, you will find greens that are heavily guarded by deep, railway-sleeper bunkers, fairways that are bordered by large waste areas and putting surfaces that are small and sloping. The 10th hole is a superb par 4 but those with higher handicaps will struggle to score well on this hole. The 12th is another brilliant hole where you have a blind tee shot before walking over a dune to discover the beautifully designed green. This is an impressive golf course and it is no surprise that it often ranks in the top five courses in Turkey due to its brilliant layout, wonderful surrounding and the exciting challenges it presents golfers of all abilities.

 

Next up we have the PGA Sultan course which is situated at Antalya Golf Club. Antalya Gol Club is one of Belek’s leading golfing complexes and it isn’t hard to see why. Not only does the club boast two fantastic golf courses, but is attached to the wonderful Sirene Belek Golf Hotel. The course was designed in the late 90s by David Jones and European Golf Design. The course winds its way through woods, up and over sandy banks and around ponds. Water features at around half of the holes and there are many pot bunkers lying in wait to catch any errant shots.

The front nine holes on the PGA Sultan ends with a brilliant risk-reward hole, this par 4 requires you to either take a brave tee shot that may end up in the water to the left but will allow you an easier second shot or a safe drive down to the right adding two clubs to your approach. One of the toughest on the course is the 12th which is a very long and narrow hole on which you should be proud if you manage to score par. The finishing hole is an impressive par 4 where you will find water either side of the island fairway meaning that your drive must be accurate in order to avoid landing in the water. The green is surrounded by five bunkers so your approach shot must be as accurate as your tee shot if you are to score well. Another brilliant course in Belek which will offer you a fantastic and enjoyable round of golf and another course which is linked to a very luxurious hotel.

 

Our penultimate course on this list is the Gloria New course at Gloria Golf Club. This course opened in late 2005 and has since ranked within the top 10 courses in Turkey. A round at this course is one that is firm but fair and the course boasts many memorable holes. Right from the beginning of the round, on the par 5 2nd hole, you can enjoy the course’s undulating fairway which is lined with trees pretty much the whole way around this course.

The course’s 17th hole is a brilliant one; it boasts its own island green, a little wind and a great trade in lake balls around the green. This water theme continues for the last hole where you must tackle a large lake which sits to the left of the entire hole providing every player with a dramatic end which can ruin even the most discerning golfer’s scorecard. Much like other courses within this blog, you can find a brilliant hotel attached to the club, in this case, it is the Gloria Hotel which is a luxurious resort and is the perfect partner to this fantastic golf club. Of course, not only is the Gloria New course situated at Gloria Golf Club, but you can find the Old course and Gloria Verde to enjoy during your stay as well.

 

Last, but certainly not least, the Nick Faldo designed golf course situated at Cornelia Golf Club is on our list of recommended courses for your next golf escape to Turkey. This 27-hole golf complex is an impressive one with some very memorable but challenging holes for you to contend with along the way. Although the course is not yet a decade old, it boasts the maturity of one that is. You will find heavily contoured terrain used to great effect, greens perched on top of little ridges and fairways that blend seamlessly into the surrounding vegetation.

Umbrella pines flank most of the holes and it can be a very tight and tricky round in some places which isn’t necessarily a bad thing for those of you who aren’t big hitters! Holes 1-9 are wonderful, short holes and on many of them, you must carry your ball over small gullies to reach raised greens – the special holes on this nine are the 4th where you dogleg to the right and up to the semi-blind green and the 7th which narrows off the tee before veering right and down to the green. Holes 10-18 boast the short par 3 12th which is a stunning, short hole and the 15th which is beautifully framed by pine trees. The final nine holes boast plenty of water hazards which can destroy your scorecard very easily. You may not even have to choose two loops of nine as you can opt to play the full 27 holes which we would highly recommend! On your next golf break, check out Cornelia Faldo.

 

We hope that you have enjoyed this week’s blog and that at least one of these nine brilliant courses has caught your eye…

9 of the Best Courses in the Algarve

This week’s blog is a guide to the courses that we consider as being the top nine courses situated in the Algarve. The Algarve is widely considered as being one of the best golf destinations in Europe due to the brilliant golf courses and luxurious golf resorts that you can find there. Another good thing about choosing the Algarve as your destination for your next golf escape is that the courses are mostly close to one another which means that whilst you are staying at one resort, it is easy for you to play a variety of great courses. With the weather chilly and winter feeling like it may ask forever, make sure to get your next golf break in the diary so that you have something to look forward to.

 

Monte Rei’s Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course opened in 2007 and quickly established itself as one of the finest courses on the Algarve. From the moment that you arrive at the club which is set in the hills to the northeast of Tavira, you will know that you are going to be taking on a stunning course due to the beautiful scenery that greets you. The course boasts five lakes which are all bordered by indigenous trees and plants as well as many strategically placed bunkers which all are lying in wait for any errant shots.

As you play the course, the holes just get better and better but some of the best holes of the course include the 13th which is a downhill par-4 with bunkers situated at the drive landing point and a lakeside green that is treacherously undulating. The prettiest hole of the course is undoubtedly the 14th which is a medium-length par-3 where you must carry your tee short over the lake in order to reach the green, anything off to the left will land right in the water. Of course, a course like Monte Rei has a special finishing hole, the 18th is a brilliant finishing hole, it is a par-5 that is in reach for big hitters, but you must watch out for the lake that can mess up anyone’s 2nd or 3rd shot! If you are looking to play a very special round of golf, look no further than a round at Monte Rei.

 

Next up, we have Palmares which boasts three loops of nine fantastic holes: Lagos, Alvor and Praia. The 27-hole complex is situated above and along the Atlantic coast close to the Meia Praia beach and boasts some of the most beautiful views from different points along the course. The Alvor course starts as you wind through pine tree-lined undulating fairways before dunes and links-style holes come into play, you then finish playing in parkland. The course boasts three fairways which are laid out across a road in a lovely valley in the middle of the loop and the loop’s final two holes face directly uphill towards the clubhouse.

The Lagos loop maintains the same parkland and links characters as Alvor, but also boasts two water hazards that you must contend with along the way. The Praia rolls its way down towards the beach and is mainly a classic links course with four beautiful coastline holes. All 27 brilliant holes of golf are fully matured making Palmares one of the Algarve’s must-play golf courses. It is not really surprising that this club made our list of top nine courses in the Algarve due to its fantastic setting, unique layout and brilliant clubhouse which boasts stunning views over the course.

 

Quinta Da Ria opened for play in 2002 and was designed by the well-known architect, Rocky Roquemore. This brilliant course can be found in the Eastern Algarve and is situated within the beautiful Ria Formosa Nature Reserve which stretches from Faro right along the coast towards the border with Spain. The course measures 6,016 metres from the back tees and is a fairly flat parkland course but there is normally a breeze coming in from the coast which can make your round a little difficult. A round here is a great choice for golfers of all abilities due to its wide landing areas but if you manage to miss these, you will be in trouble. There are five strategically placed lakes, many bunkers and carob and olive trees situated around the course which all lie in wait for any errant shots.

There are some brilliantly-designed, tough holes on the course including the 5th which is an impressive par-3 which has two differing tee areas, but both require you to carry a good tee shot over a lake towards the shallow green which is heavily guarded by bunkers. Another very special hole is the 10th which is a very difficult hole measuring 422 metres from the back tees with out-of-bounds running all down the left-hand side. Then, there is a large lake guarding the green 100-metres out! With an excellent range of holes, beautiful landscape and a superb location, look no further than the Quinta da Ria course for your next golf escape.

 

The coastal town of Vilamoura boasts a wonderful, central location and it is no surprise that it has earned a reputation for being one of Europe’s largest and most successful golfing destinations. The Dom Pedro Old Course is one of the gems situated near to Vilamoura and it is no surprise that this course is on our list of recommendations. The course opened for play in 1969 and has gained a brilliant reputation since partly due to its sympathetic use of the existing natural landscape. The tees and greens are always beautifully kept, and the fairways are lined with trees which means that if your drive isn’t straight, you may struggle to end the round with a good scorecard!

Each and every hole will remain with you for long after you have finished your round on the Old Course. The round begins with a straightforward set of four holes but the rest of the front nine is tricky and pose a challenge to even the best golfers. The signature hole is arguably the 8th hole which stretches over 400 metres from the medal tees, the hole slopes downhill to a fairway bunker before doglegging gently to the right and then rising back up towards a narrow green which is heavily guarded by trees! If you score a par on this hole, you have played very well. The back nine are also very tricky and you should watch out for the collection of strategically placed bunkers which come into play on the 12th hole and are lying in wait to catch your second shot. After your round, enjoy a few drinks in the well-designed clubhouse. A round here is a spectacular one and no discerning golfer should miss out. 

 

The Penina Championship course opened in 1966 but was then completely rebuilt in 1995 and boasts two loops of nine holes. The sun is often shining during your round here and you can enjoy the smell of eucalyptus trees whilst you tackle this impressive course. The fairways are gently rolling and well-manicured but feature many strategically-placed hazards including deep bunkers and trees. Right from the moment that you tee off here, you will know that you are in for a challenge as the 1st hole is a long dog-leg left towards a heavily-guarded narrow green. Another impressive hole on the front nine is the 5rh which is the only par-5 on the front nine and only measures 451 yards from the back tees. However, this hole is the perfect risk-reward hole as if you place your tee shot well, you may want to try for the green in two shots but there is a large lake and out-of-bounds waiting for any slightly errant shot.

In contrast to the front nine, there are four par-5s, but the two standout holes are considered to be the 12th and the 13th. The 12th is a long par-4 which is a very straight hole with only one bunker but once you arrive for the approach shot, you will find that the small green sits directly behind a lake which goes on to cause further problems for your scorecard on the 13th hole. Lots of golfers fall foul of the lake which guards the 13th hole which is a long par-3 which boasts a narrow and sloped-towards-the-water green. There is no doubting that this is a very impressive course and the Penina Hotel is a fantastic option for your next golf escape…

 

Situated in the Quinta do Lago Estate is the San Lorenzo course which has been ranked in the past as being the second-best course in the whole of Europe. It isn’t hard to see why San Lorenzo was given this title with its beautiful location alongside the Atlantic on sandy, undulating terrain and variety of interesting and challenging holes. The first five holes of the course run through a pine tree forest, you will then find water holes which boast stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean. The par-3 5th hole is where you will get your first glance of the Atlantic Ocean and is a delightful short hole with a green perched at the top of a valley which is heavily guarded by trees and bunkers.

At the 8th hole, you will turn back inland and tackle the larger of the course’s two lakes. The finishing holes are particularly strong and entertaining as you head back out to sea. The 18th hole is a difficult and long par-4 at over 400 yards from the back tees. You will find water all the way up the left-hand side and a semi-island green. This is a classic risk-reward finish which tops off the very special round of golf here nicely. After your round, take a visit to the clubhouse and enjoy a few drinks and a bite to eat whilst discussing this impressive course. For any discerning golfer, a trip to San Lorenzo is a must.

 

Quinta do Lago Estate boasts three other courses besides San Lorenzo: North, South and Laranjal. These are all fantastic courses that are different and exciting in their own ways. The North course is one of the Algarve’s most charming courses, many of the holes are framed with umbrella pine trees and some of the greens are nestled in truly magnificent sites.

One of the most beautiful holes on this course is the par-4 12th which measures 361 metres and features a 3-acre lake. The hole doglegs its way around the leg which leaves you to make a treacherous approach shot in order to land on the undulating green. The course was recently redesigned in close collaboration with European Ryder Cup captain Paul McGinley and is considered to be a very special course indeed. This is a course that golfers can enjoy again and again making it an ideal holiday course.

 

Quinta do Lago South is one of the most requested courses on the Algarve. The course was designed by William Mitchell and opened for play in 1974 and became well-known after it hosted the Portuguese Open on seven occasions. This course is the most famous in the area due to the Portuguese Open and can be enjoyed by golfers of all abilities due to its relatively generous fairways. This eye-catching course is great for big hitters, but accuracy is also required if you want to finish the round with a good scorecard. It is no surprise that the South course made our list of recommendations and if you haven’t played this one already, make sure that you book it in.

Last, but certainly not least, Quinta do Lago Laranjal was originally an orange grove but today, it is a beautiful 18-hole championship golf course which offers its players a fantastic and challenging round of golf. The course is known for its narrow, undulating fairways, five stunning lakes and well-defined greens. The course is the newest of the three on the Estate as it only opened for play in February of 2009, but it is quickly gaining a stellar reputation. This is a fun and exciting course and is the perfect addition to your golf escape to the Algarve.

Whatever you are looking for from your next golf break, the Algarve has it all from luxurious resorts to boutique hotels and self-catering accommodation. Give us a call today to discuss what you are looking for from your next golf break and let us do the work to find you the perfect holiday.

9 of the Best Courses you’ve never heard of but need to play…

This week’s blog is a guide to the best nine courses that you will (probably) not have heard of! Whether you are looking for a golf course to centre your next trip around or just interested in hearing about what is out there, this is the perfect blog for any discerning golfer.

 

Real Club Sevilla Golf was designed by Jose Maria and boasts one of the finest courses in Europe as well as a central location just a few minutes from the centre of Sevilla. The course boasts beautiful scenery, tree-lined fairways, numerous strategically placed bunkers, undulating greens and nine lakes to contend with. The course is relatively flat which means that you can easily walk your way around, but it does feature a testing layout. As you make your way around the course, you will find a challenge on every corner. This is a brilliant course ideal for both amateurs and professionals alike.

The first signature hole of the course is a 160-yard par-3 from an elevated tee over a lake towards a narrow green which is set at 45 degrees – you must control your tee shot on this hole. With each hole, the course increases in difficulty and the 18th is a spectacular finishing hole. It is a long, 440-yard par-4 where you must carry your tee shot over 200 yards in order to miss the water, your approach is then uphill to a green protected by more water both at the front and to the left. One of the best things about this course is that it is a little off the beaten track, which means that it is unspoilt and well-manicured all year round. With the beautiful and historic city of Seville on its doorstep and a brilliant round of golf on offer, you cannot go wrong with this club for your next golf escape. If you are looking for a great, testing round of golf which will offer you a delightful golfing experience, look no further than a round on the Real Club Golf Sevilla.

 

Up next, we have Crete Golf Club which was designed by the highly-acclaimed golfing legend, Bob Hunt. This stunning 18-hole course boasts a very special location in Hersonissos just on the outskirts of the resort of Malia. The backdrop of the course as you make your way around is simply breath-taking with views of the Mediterranean landscape. The course opened in 2003 and has since become popular with locals and alike, since then, the course has undergone extensive renovations and reopened in 2015. There is no doubting that this course will become even more popular among discerning golfers in the next couple of years.

The course boasts a complete technical challenge with both short and lengthy holes, its layout winds its way through rocks and ravines whilst offering its guests the most stunning views of Cretan landscapes. The course has a quartet of memorable par-3s along the course, two on the front nine and two on the back. Many players would say that the best of these is the 6th which is 198 yards long from the back markers. You must carry your tee shot over a deep gorge to reach the two-tiered green which has been cut into the foot of a hillside – many would say that if you score 3 on this hole, you have achieved a birdie. Stunning scenery, year-round beautiful weather and a brilliant round of golf – why wouldn’t you choose Crete Golf Club for your next golf escape?

 

Situated in Etnas Natural Park within the North-Eastern region of the mountains in Sicily sits the Il Picciolo Golf Club. This special course is one of only half a dozen golf courses that are currently open for play in Sicily – however, there are many more under construction. The course winds its way through a mass of oak trees, vineyards, hazelnut trees and even ancient lava flows which have been carved out by Mount Etna. This is a course where the holes will be etched in your memory long after you walk off the 18th. The club is very special as it was developed in 1989 but due to its remarkably unique landscape, it feels as if it has been situated here for centuries. However, you must make sure to not be distracted by the interesting scenery as the course boasts plenty of challenges including water hazards and brutal out of bounds to steer clear of. 

The course measures just under 6,000 metres from the championship tees and plays to a par of 72. There are some brilliant highlight holes including the short par-4s like the 3rd hole where out of bounds run the length of the fairway to the left making it a tight hole to play. The course’s signature hole is considered to be the very short 15th (it measures less than 100 metres from the back tees) where the backdrop is Mount Etna and there is a three-tiered green, this hole rarely yields anything less than a “3” on the scorecard. Il Picciolo is a special golf club and with more courses coming to the region of Sicily, it will soon be a popular golfing destination. 

 

The Al Hamra Golf Club is a brilliant, exciting and challenging golf course which is situated in Ras Al Khaimah. The course was designed by Peter Harradine and flows through four inter-connected open water lagoons which merge with the Arabian Gulf. The course measures a long 7,325 yards from the back tees and was designed in the manner of a traditional links course. This course is perfect as a holiday course as it is playable for all standards of golfers as there are five varies tee shots meaning that those from accomplished player to novices can enjoy their round. Water hazards come into play at several of the holes; most notably on either side of the fairway on the 3rd hole. The 18th is an intimidating par-5 where water is lying in wait to catch any errant shots along the right of the hole right from the tee to the triple-tiered green.

The club is situated 50 minutes’ drive from Dubai airport and right next to the five-star Waldorf Astoria Ras Al Khaimah where you can find world-class facilities and luxurious service. This is arguably the best links layout in the UAE, so make sure that it is on your radar next time you are planning a golf break.

 

Situated in the heart of a beautiful valley on the outskirts of Stellenbosch is De Zalze Golf Club. The course measures 6,369 yards from the back tees and boasts a mixed parkland and woodland layout. Golfers of all standards will find this course a challenge as accuracy is very important if you are to finish the round with a pleasant scorecard. The course’s signature hole is the short par-4 13th hole where you walk out onto a boardwalk where you can find three tees out in a lake from which you must carry your ball onto the fairway which is to the right-hand side of the water. Those who are big hitters may be tempted to go straight for the green but that would be inadvisable!

After your round, make sure to venture into the clubhouse as you can enjoy a few beverages whilst looking out across the Blauuwklippen River and the Stellenbosch Mountains. With a very special location, an interesting layout and beautiful scenery, make sure that you take a look into taking your next golf escape to South Africa as you will be surprised at the brilliant courses that you can find there.

 

The Emporda Links course boasts fast and wide fairways which have been defined with mounding and deep rough but very little trees. This course is a complete contrast to its neighbour, the Forest course, but it is a stunning test of golf which requires the utmost accuracy if you are to score well. It is no surprise that the course consistently ranks as one of the top 20 courses in Northern Spain due to its interesting layout and excellent condition.

Although the course is quite open, there are many strategically placed water hazards which are all lying in wait to catch any errant shots as you make your way around the courses. One of the best things about this course is that it is rarely very busy which means that you can enjoy a leisurely round taking in the scenery and enjoying the layout of this brilliant course. If you are thinking about taking a golf break to the Costa Brava, look no further than Emporda Links for an excellent round of golf.

 

Now, technically, this blog contains information about ten impressive golf courses rather than nine as there are two brilliant courses situated at Ribagolfe which is up next on our list. Ribagolfe is located an hour’s drive from the city of Lisbon but it is well worth the drive with 36 brilliant holes of golf situated here.

Ribagolfe I is considered to be one of the best courses that we have ever played, although the course only opened in 2004, it is already mature with 18 very memorable holes. The course measures 7,370 yards from the back tees and is not an easy round of golf. Treacherous lakes come into play on the back nine holes on the 12th, 14th and 15th and these late holes can really damage your scorecard if you aren’t an accurate player. With cork tree-lined fairways, water hazards and undulating well-bunkered greens create one of the finest courses that you will ever have the opportunity to play.

Ribagolfe II is a slightly shorter but tighter round of golf than its older sibling but still enjoys the magnificent setting. This course is more suited to the club handicap golfer due to the extensive water hazards which must be taken seriously if you are not to damage your scorecard irreparably. The course boasts large, contoured greens and a beautifully balanced set of par-3s with the toughest being the 3rd where trees partially block the route to the green on the right-hand side. With two stunning golf courses at this complex, it is well worth driving that little bit extra to enjoy these courses when you are next in Lisbon.

Situated in Almeria is Aguilon which is a course that opened in 2007. The course boasts a very special location situated at the foot of the Sierra Aguilon mountains which means that the scenery is simply stunning. This course is definitely not one for beginners as there are many strategically placed bunkers, lakes, palm trees and ravines which you must navigate your way around successfully in order to finish the round with a nice scorecard. Besides from the hazards, there are further distractions due to the spectacular sea and mountain views that you can enjoy as you make your way around the course. If you are going to choose to stay in one of the popular golf resorts further to the south, this is worth the drive up to enjoy this gem of a golf course.

If you are looking for a firm but fair test of golf on a beautiful course, make sure that you make the journey to play at Aguilon as it is truly a round that you won’t forget anytime soon!

 

Last, but certainly not least, we have Hanbury Manor which was designed by the legendary Jack Nicklaus II. The course opened for play in 1990 and has since become to be one of the most well-respected golfing venues in the country and it isn’t hard to see why. The course is kept in brilliant condition all year round and has hosted the English Open on the European Tour.

Measuring over 6,660 yards from the medal tees, this course is not an easy one. The 8th hole is the toughest hole of the course, it measures 425 yards with out of bounds all the way along the right-hand side. The approach shot to the green is a difficult one, even if you are lucky enough (or skilled enough!) to be in the middle of the fairway when you take the shot. The green is elevated and protected to the left by a lake and a grassy hollow to the right, the green slopes towards the lake so watch out when you are making your putt. A variety of holes, beautiful scenery and a great location makes this an ideal destination for your next golf escape.

 

We hope that you have enjoyed this week’s blog and that a few of these courses have caught your eye! Make sure to give us a ring if you want to discuss any of these further or take a look around the website for further inspiration.

Top 9 Golf Courses in the Caribbean

This week’s blog is a guide to our seven top courses of the Caribbean and the hotels that you may choose to stay in to play these very special courses. Whether you are looking for a real challenge or a nice, holiday course, you can find it all within this blog.

 

The brilliant Westin Puntacana Resort and Club is an extensive golf resort situated just moments from the pristine sands of Punta Cana. This resort is stunning with gardens, swimming pools and other leisure activities to keep you busy. These leisure activities include a gym, tennis courts and a large spa area which is perfect for relaxation therapy after taking on the challenge of one of the local golf courses. The hotel boasts 200 well-equipped guestrooms featuring air conditioning, a rain shower, a flat-screen TV and a private balcony from which you can enjoy breathtaking sea views. Here, you can enjoy an all-inclusive board basis and the resort offers an abundance of restaurants as part of the all-inclusive programme with eight different international restaurants to enjoy. There are also an abundance of bars and public areas for you to grab a few drinks and soak up the atmosphere of this beautiful resort. The two golf courses, La Cana and Corales, are located just a short drive from the resort.

 

La Cana Golf Club was designed by Pete Dye and is a brilliant 27-hole Championship course which has been frequently described as being one of the best courses in the Caribbean and it isn’t hard to see why. There are three unique sets of 9 holes, the Tortuga, Hacienda and Arrecife. There are 14 shoreline holes, which boast consistent and stunning sea views as you take on these challenging holes. The first of these is the 5th hole which is played to a rock-walled green that protrudes out into the sea, you reach the beach again at the 7th hole. As you venture further inland, there are ponds which come into play which can mean that you lose a couple of balls here! One of the best parts about the course, are the two closing holes where if you place your ball too far left at either hole, it will end up caught in the waves. This course is playable by golfers of all abilities but will still pose a firm challenge to even the most discerning golfer. Another attraction of this course is the 19th hole at La Cana Golf and Beach Club where you can enjoy a few drinks and views of the Caribbean Sea.

Corales Golf Course was designed by Tom Fazio and is an exclusive, 18-hole course located not far from the Westin Puntacana. This course is well-known among keen golfers and was designed along the natural cliffs, bays and coves which are all signature features of the beautiful West Coast of the Dominican Republic. The course is not to be taken lightly as it stretches to over 7650 yards from the back tees, this means that this course is perfect for those who want to power a drive whilst soaking up the stunning views and scenery which surrounds this course. There are six oceanside holes which weave their way through inland lakes and coralina quarries, this is an exhilarating round of golf with beautiful views and challenging and unique holes to tackle. It is not surprising that this course has a brilliant reputation and is considered to be one of the best courses in the Dominican Republic. The 18th hole is one of the most special holes of the course, those of all abilities will be challenged with a daunting drive over the ocean and rocky cliffs to reach the distant fairway on the other side. After you round, take a visit to the clubhouse where you can enjoy stunning views over the bay of Corales.

Whether you are travelling with family, friends or with a partner, a golf break to the Westin Puntacana where you can enjoy two breath-taking golf courses is surely one for you to consider for 2019…

 

Situated in the South East of the Dominican Republic is the special golf resort of Casa de Campo. This resort offers its guests an unrivalled golfing experience with three distinctly unique and impressive golf courses situated onsite. There is no surprise that 7,000-acre this resort has been considered to be one of the world’s leading golf resorts. The style of the resort replicates a 16th-century Mediterranean village and amphitheatre. Each of the hotel rooms boasts rich mahogany furnishings and either a private balcony or terrace from which you can enjoy beautiful views of the resorts’ surroundings. The rooms are all equipped with everything that you would expect from a hotel of this standard. You can enjoy an all-inclusive board basis within the hotel and there are seven divine restaurants for you to try whilst you are here. From the Mediterranean to seafood to Italian and other international restaurants, no one could go hungry here! To get around the resort, you can use your own 4-passenger cart, within the resort you can find water sports, horseback riding, a health spa, tennis and polo facilities as well as the three championship golf courses.

 

Teeth of the Dog golf course is ranked as the best course in the Caribbean and it isn’t hard to see why this course earned such a prestigious ranking. The course was designed by Pete Dye in 1971 and this course was the one that put the Dominican Republic on the golfing map. The course is incredibly challenging with 18 beautiful but unique and difficult holes for you to take on. There are seven holes which hug the shoreline, and these are particularly memorable. The course boasts numerous tricky shots including tough doglegs, signature Dye hurdles, very long fairways and when the breeze is blowing from the Caribbean Sea, you are guaranteed a challenging round. The course was renovated in 2005 and now measures a whopping 7,350 yards from the back holes so make sure that you select your tee box carefully!

Dye Fore is another of the impressive golf courses situated on the impressive golfing resort of Casa de Campo. This course was also designed by Pete Dye, but this course boasts a links layout. Dye Fore offers panoramic 360-degree views 27 exceptional holes of golf, seven of which are cliffside and drop 300 feet into the Chavon River. The course boasts a magnificent backdrop of the Dominican mountains, the Chavon River, Marina and Caribbean Sea. On this course, you can find arguably two of the greatest par-3 holes in the world (the 12th and 15th hole). The Chavon River cuts a deep path through the landscape as it tumbles down from the Dominican mountains right to the coast, the Dye Fore course sits high above the waters with many of the holes on the back nine routed along the top edge on one side of this valley. Some people consider Dye Fore to be an even more special course than Teeth of the Dog as it offers an unrivalled round along the shoreline of the South East of the Dominican Republic. After your round, make sure you take a visit to the clubhouse where you can enjoy a few drinks in a delightful setting. Playing at Dye Fore is a once in a lifetime golfing experience as you can find 27 holes of brilliant golf with breath-taking views from start to finish.

Another Pete Dye creation sits on the Casa de Campo golf resort, The Links course was created in 1975 and underwent extensive renovations in 2012 to make it as challenging as its fellow Casa de Campo courses. The course is reminiscent of a classic links-style course which you would often find on the British Isles, but the scenery is very different from that of which we have at home! The course’s beautiful layout meanders through the resort of Casa de Campo and boasts very special views of the Caribbean Sea. Although unlike the other courses, it may not be next to the ocean, it is still a very exciting course to play as you can tackling rolling fairways, elevated landscape, water hazards, small greens and numerous strategically placed bunkers which are lying in wait to catch any errant shots! Many consider The Links to be as challenging as Teeth of the Dog due to its difficult terrain and long, rough areas.

As you can see, there are three spectacular courses for you to choose from should you choose Casa de Campo for your next golf holiday. Whether you are looking for a real challenging course or a more relaxing round of golf, you can find it all here.

 

Sandy Lane is an exclusive resort nestled on the West Coast of Barbados. The resort boasts 45 holes of golfing brilliance across three world-class golf courses: The Green Monkey, The Country Club and The Old Nine. The resort is located within an ancient grove and former sugar cane plantation, you can enjoy overlooking the beach and crystal-clear waters of the ocean. Besides fantastic golf courses, you can find a brilliant spa, a fitness centre and tennis courts. This resort is particularly perfect for couples who are seeking a romantic golfing getaway!

The Country Club is a brilliant 18-hole parkland course which opened in 2001. The course has been maintained to the highest standards and boasts immaculate greens, fairways and five large lakes. This course is a lot more open than its sister courses, The Green Monkey and The Old Nine, and stretches over 7,000 yards so you can really enjoy hitting those power drives whilst enjoying beautiful views over the Caribbean Sea. This course is considered to be a golfers’ paradise so make sure that you come and find out why…

The Green Monkey course was carved from an old limestone quarry which means you can enjoy interesting scenery and a unique layout of some very special holes of golf. This course is the most famous of the three courses at Sandy Lane which is probably because this course offers all golfers an unbelievable round of golf situated in a dramatic setting. You can enjoy lush rolling fairways, steep elevation changes and dramatic views out to the Caribbean Sea. Make sure that you watch out for the 16th hole which is a striking par-3 with a grass island situated in the middle shaped like a monkey! A round on this course is unforgettable so make sure that you check out Sandy Lane as the destination for your next golf escape.

Last, but certainly not least, situated at Sandy Lane is The Old Nine. This short course was constructed in 1961 but it is still a firm favourite with many repeat guests. The course measures just over 3,345 yards and weaves its way through the colourful Sandy Lane Estate. The course boasts narrow, tree-lined fairways which means that any errant shots may be caught up in the trees. It is a course which will perfectly test your accuracy and consistency throughout. Make sure that you don’t disregard this lovely, short course when you are faced with the other courses at Sandy Lane as it is the perfect choice for those wanting just a couple of hours golfing.

Sandy Lane Resort boasts three superb golf courses, extensive leisure facilities and a stunning beach right on its doorstep – what more could you be looking for?

 

The ninth course that we consider to be in the top seven courses of the Caribbean is the White Witch Golf Course. This course was carved from the countryside of the prestigious Jamaican estate of Rose Hall and is a brilliant 18-hole championship golf course. The course was designed to utilise the dramatic elevation changes of the natural landscape which creates some spectacular views of the coast and beyond. The layout of the course weaves its way through the Rose Hall Estate and is nestled within 200 acres of beautiful Jamaican countryside. The course poses a stern challenge to golfers of all abilities but there are five different tee boxes that you can choose from to make this course playable for golfers of all abilities.

We hope that you have enjoyed this week’s blog and that some of these courses have caught your eye as destinations for your next golf break…

7 More Inspirational Escapes for 2019 (part 2)

This week’s blog is the second part to “7 destinations to inspire you for 2019” and we have 7 more brilliant resorts for you to learn a bit more about and maybe even consider one or two of them for your next golf escape…

The Arabella Hotel and Spa is situated within the Cape Provinces in South Africa and is a delightful five-star hotel. The hotel overlooks the spectacular natural lagoon and is surrounded by lush landscape, this golf estate is a beautiful place and if you are looking for indulgence, look no further.

The hotel itself is the perfect blend of old-world style and modern design to produce a hotel with soaring wooden beams, bright and warm interior and an eclectic aura that promotes relaxation. You can find a world-class spa within the hotel, where you can relax in the sauna or get a soothing massage. Alternatively, you can work out in the gym, hit some balls on the tennis court or take a dip in the pool. Each of the beautiful guest rooms and suites includes air-conditioning, a seating area, a desk and a TV and of course, they all boast their own private bathrooms.

The hotel’s Jamani Restaurant serves up delicious international and contemporary South African cuisine, but you can enjoy a lighter meal and cocktails at Barnabas Bar which overlooks the pool. The main attraction here is the fantastic Arabella Country Estate where you can find one of the top-ranked courses in South Africa. The course boasts pristine grass, strategically placed bunkers and challenging water hazards. This is a brilliant course and will offer golfers of all abilities an exciting and scenic round of golf. With so much to do from wine tasting, whale watching, horse riding and bike riding as well as a fantastic golf course onsite, what more could you be looking for when it comes to your 2019 golf escape?

 

Next up, we have the luxurious, four-star Villaverde Resort which is situated in the tranquil Fagagna Moraine hills in the province of Udine, Italy. The hotel boasts a brilliant location as just 1km away from the hotel, you can find the historic village of Fagagna and within two-minutes’ walk, you can take on the challenging Golf Club Udine.

The resort only opened in 2016 but it has already proved itself to be a well-loved, fantastic hotel due to its fantastic facilities and wonderful location. You can find a fully-equipped spa which features a sauna, Turkish bath, indoor pool, a seasonal outdoor pool and a fully-equipped fitness centre. Within the spa, you can choose from three exclusive treatments, including a floatation room. As the hotel boasts a great location, you can venture out to explore different bars and restaurants but, if you stay within the hotel, you won’t be disappointed. The hotel’s restaurant is accessible over a bride, serves a range of local delicacies in a wonderful setting overlooking the surrounding countryside and the golf course. You can also enjoy the show cooking where fine Italian cuisine is prepared. After dinner, enjoy a few drinks at the Degusto Lounge Bar.

Golf Club Udine is within minutes’ walk of the hotel and it is a stunning course. The club is positioned within the Friulian countryside and is surrounded by rolling hills and boasts a stunning backdrop of the Carnic Alps. This championship standard course boasts a combination of traditional English feel combined with Italian flair and will pose a stern challenge to golfers of all abilities. Whether you are looking to travel with family, friends or just in a couple, look no further than the fantastic Villaverde Resort for your next golf holiday to Italy.

 

The stylish and modern five-star Hotel Camiral is situated on the 36-hole PGA Catalunya complex which is a first-class golf resort in the delightful setting of Costa Brava. Not only does the hotel boast an excellent location for playing some world-class golf, but there are two delightful towns which are under 15-minutes’ drive from the resort: Caldes de Malavella and Girona.

Each of the 145 guest rooms within the hotel is extremely comfortable with all mod-cons and brilliant showers! You can find everything that you could want or need for your stay within your room including a flat-screen TV and complimentary Wi-Fi. Due to the hotel’s location, it would be easy to drink and dine out of the hotel, but the hotel offers some great options as well including the hotel’s own restaurant. The restaurant serves delicious a la carte cuisine and you can find a piano bar and pub for after dinner drinks. During the summer months, take your drinks outside and relax on the terrace.

Not only is there spectacular golf onsite but also Hotel Camiral’s spa which includes a sauna, a hot tub and Hamman as well as a range of different health and beauty treatments.

Undoubtedly, the main attraction of Hotel Camiral is the very special golf that you can enjoy during your stay here with two spectacular golf courses. The Stadium course is considered to be one of the best golf courses in Spain and ranks within Europe’s top 50 courses and it isn’t hard to see why. The course opened in 1999 and was already considered to be something special after hosting the 2000 Spanish Open. The course itself is very long and hilly with plenty of challenges along the way, however, there are five sets of tees which means that those with a higher handicap can still enjoy this magnificent course.

The Tour course is a slightly easier course than the Stadium but is dominated by pine trees and lakes which are all lying in wait to catch any errant shots which means that it may be easier, but it is still a stern challenge of golf. With very special golf, wonderful facilities and a superb location, take a further look at Hotel Camiral online or give us a call if you think this may be your preferred next destination for a fantastic golf break to Spain.

 

Monte Rei Golf and Country Club is a five-star resort nestled amongst the stunning foothills in between the mountains and the ocean just 20-minutes’ drive from the town of Tavira. In Tavira, you can find lots of things to do and see as well as a range of authentic Portuguese restaurants and bars perfect for if you don’t feel like cooking one night. This exclusive resort boasts luxury self-catered accommodation, breath-taking golf at the Monte Rei Golf Course and stunning views across the Eastern Algarve.

Besides Tavira, you can find four excellent restaurants or bars located on-site of the resort, the Grill Restaurant offers a range of meals and light snacks and the Veranda is the perfect place for you to enjoy a couple of drinks in the sunshine.

The range of self-catered luxury villas range from one, two, three and four-bedroom villas and all of them have been built in a typical Portuguese style and furnished to a very high standard. Each of the villas boasts a large terrace with an outdoor dining area as well as all of the modern essentials like complimentary toiletries, air conditioning, complimentary Wi-Fi and flat-screen TVs.

Within the heart of the resort, you can find the “Veranda” which boasts the leisure facilities of the resort including private tennis courts, a fully-equipped fitness centre and extensive spa facilities and swimming pools. Of course, the best leisure activity that you can enjoy within the resort is playing a round of golf on the Monte Rei course. The Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course opened in 2007 and has since established itself as being one of the finest courses on the Algarve. The course boasts five lakes which are bordered by indigenous trees and plants. From the moment that you tee off, the holes get better and better – this course is a real must-play for any discerning golfer. The Monte Rei Golf and Country Club is a perfect choice for your next golf break.

 

Situated in Tangier, in Morocco is the Lixus Beach and Golf Resort which is a superb four-star all-inclusive golf resort just 40 minutes’ drive from Tangier International Airport. The area enjoys a mild and dry climate which makes it the perfect destination for golfers between the months of April and October.

Within the resort, you can find a tennis court, an outdoor swimming pool and an 18-hole golf course which will challenge every aspect of your game. You can also enjoy a comprehensive spa where you can find a sauna, Hamman, indoor pool and yoga room. There are 224 rooms within the hotel and each of them offers a balcony or terrace and is fully-equipped with all of the modern amenities that you would expect from a hotel of this standard.

You can enjoy an all-inclusive board basis and there are two onsite restaurants: Le Tingis and Zelis which both offer style and character as well as a range of international cuisine. There is also a lounge bar and pool bar where you can enjoy a varied range of cocktails and beers.

Port Lixus Golf Club is a coastal course but is relatively flat for a links-style course. However, there are a variety of water hazards that come into play, with four large lakes at the centre of the course. There is an added challenge with the coastal breeze from the Atlantic. This is a great holiday course as both beginners and professionals can enjoy a round here.

With a great golf course, so much to do within the local area and great facilities within the resort, what more could you be searching for your next golf escape?

 

The five-star Martins Chateau du Lac is an elegant five-star property which boasts an idyllic location on Genval Lake and a charming landscaped park. You can reach the centre of Brussels within a 30-minute drive as well as a range of superb championship golf courses.

The hotel boasts an extensive wellness area where you can relax after you have taken on some of the challenging golf courses in the area. Within the wellness area, you can enjoy the sauna, a solarium, an indoor swimming pool, a jacuzzi and a range of different massage treatments.

The hotel offers elegant, five-star rooms between Genval Lake and a spacious landscaped park. You can enjoy free Wi-Fi, a flat-screen satellite TV, air conditioning and a minibar within all of the guest rooms.

The hotel’s lounge and bar combine gourmet cuisine with a casual modern setting, you can find a wide range of drinks including draught beers in the Kingfisher bar. In the mornings, you can choose to enjoy a hot and cold breakfast buffet with scenic lake views each morning at Genval Les Bains. This is a fantastic hotel with brilliant golf and great facilities in a great location outside of Brussels.

 

Last, but not least, is the five-star Waldorf Astoria Ras Al Khaimah which located on the beachfront of Ras Al Khaimah in the United Arab Emirates. The resort is just a 50-minute drive from Dubai Airport and boasts an 18-hole championship course with a private beach which stretches over 400 yards of golden sands along the Arabian Sea.

The hotel boasts a luxurious spa which has been designed in an underwater theme and is where you can find a range of health and beauty treatments to choose from. There are a gym and two tennis courts for you to enjoy during your stay as well.

Each of the 346 elegant guestrooms is all designed in a plush style and boasts all of the modern amenities that you can expect from a hotel of this standard. From the rooms, you can enjoy beautiful views of either the sea, the golf course or the garden. The hotel boasts a variety of different restaurants including international favourites like Japanese cuisine at UMI, Steak and grill at Lexington Grill as local cuisine at Marjan and Qasr Al Bahar.

During your stay, you can enjoy a round at the Al Hamra Golf Club which is an exciting and challenging golf course which measures a whopping 7,325 yards. The course is playable for golfers of all abilities as it has five varied tee shots which means that it is a challenge for everyone. The course flows through four interconnected open water lagoons which merge with the sparkling blue Arabian Golf. This is a special course and shouldn’t be missed out on.

The Waldorf Astoria Ras Al Khaimah is a great choice for your next golf break to the United Arab Emirates and will offer you a wonderful stay with brilliant facilities and golf courses.

 

We hope that you have enjoyed this week’s blog and if you haven’t already, check out the first part of this blog which you can find on the website.

Top 5 Wine & Golf Tours for 2019

Many discerning golfers also love delicious wines and this blog is a guide to our top five destinations for a wine and golf tour. Now that we are in 2019, it is time to start thinking about your next golf break and one of these destinations may just be perfect for you.

The five-star Hotel Peralada Wine Spa and Golf boasts a brilliant location situated in the heart of the Alt Emporda region. The hotel is surrounded by the brilliant Peralada golf course which is a popular course among holiday golfers as it isn’t overly long but boasts some unique and challenging holes along the course. The 18th is a particularly special hole as it is a long par-3 over water which has been known to ruin a few scorecards! Not only is the hotel perfect for golf, but also for exploring the local area as there are some of the best beaches in the Costa Brava region within 15-minute drive.

There are just 64 guestrooms within the hotel and all of them are modern and feature bright décor as well as all of the amenities and facilities that you would expect from a hotel of this standard including plasma-screen TVs and free Wi-Fi access. Besides playing on the brilliant Peralada course, you can work out in the gym, relax in the wine spa which offers a range of treatments or relax around the hotel’s outdoor pool. Guests within the hotel also have complimentary access to the casino which is situated in the medieval Peralada Castle just 800 metres from the resort. The hotel’s restaurant, Restaurant l’Olivera boasts an extensive menu filled with delicious Mediterranean cuisine and magnificent views over the golf course. Within the restaurant, you can also enjoy beautiful wines from the region and abroad which perfectly compliment your meals. Hotel Peralada Wine Spa and Golf is a beautifully well-appointed boutique hotel situated in the heart of the Costa Brava which makes it the perfect base for your next golf escape.

 

Another recommendation for your next wine and golf tour would be Fancourt. You can choose between staying in the Manor House or the Fancourt Hotel but whichever you choose, you will have easy access to the three fantastic Fancourt golf courses as well as beautiful South African wines. The resort boasts four different restaurants which serve international cuisine made from fresh, locally-sourced ingredients. The hotel also boasts a bar that offers regional wines and a spacious garden terrace. Whilst you are staying at either property on the resort, you can enjoy activities such as tennis, running and walking trails, bird watching and fishing.

The five-star Manor House is set on the 1,500-acre Fancourt Estate and was remodelled to create a boutique hotel which is a beautifully luxurious space for couples, families or small groups to enjoy. The Manor House boasts a garden and terrace on which you can enjoy a few glasses of wine and enjoy the views.

 

The five-star Fancourt Hotel boasts luxurious accommodation, a wellness centre and elegant guest rooms which boast beautiful views of the Outeniqua Mountains. All of the rooms boast a minibar and a satellite TV as well as free toiletries and a private bathroom.  The hotel’s spa features an indoor heated Roman Bath as well as a leisure centre where you can find a kid’s club, a fitness centre, a cinema and an outdoor swimming pool.

The three golf courses situated at the Fancourt Resort are the main reason for you to choose this resort for your next golf holiday and it isn’t hard to see why. The Fancourt Links course is a prime example of a magnificently designed golf course and is undoubtedly the most impressive course in South Africa. This course frequently ranks as one of the top courses and it isn’t hard to see why. The Montagu course is beautifully landscape across lush countryside with the majestic Outeniqua Mountains as the backdrop and both this course and the Outeniqua courses also rank highly in the world rankings of golf courses.

 

With three superb golf courses, extensive leisure facilities, world-class restaurant and special surroundings, what more could you be looking for for your next golf break?

 

The five-star Vidago Palace is situated just an hour from the centre of the city of Porto and five minutes’ drive from the centre of Vidago. The hotel is surrounded by beautiful scenery and the hotel itself is the perfect blend between the Belle Epoque style and modern luxury. Whilst you are here, you can enjoy relaxing around the vanity pool, in the extensive spa or play a round on the fantastic Vidago Palace Golf Course. Within the spa, you can find indoor and outdoor swimming pools, vitality pool, a Turkish bath, a sauna, relaxation rooms, a juice bar and a gym as well as twenty different treatment rooms.  

All of the rooms within the hotel boast essential amenities and facilities including LCD TVs and work desks as well as spacious seating areas and beautiful ensuite bathrooms. There are four different restaurants within the hotel, including the stylish main restaurant, a spa bar and the poolside bar and grill. For you wine lovers, you can enjoy the most famous export wine from Vidago’s wine cellar.

Of course, the main attraction at Vidago Palace is the very special Vidago Palace Golf. The course reopened in 2010 after extensive remodelling as a new, 18-hole championship golf course. The course has retained many original elements from the parkland holes and there are newer holes which have been carved through the valley. This course is the perfect blend of its original design and new, modern design. The greens were enlarged during the remodel and have been reshaped to USGA standards. Throughout the course, you can enjoy stunning scenery and four different tee positions from different heights as well as lengths to make sure that this course can be enjoyed by all golfers!

If you are looking for a special golf escape to Portugal where you can enjoy delicious food and wine, play a few rounds on a fantastic golf course and enjoy extensive facilities within the hotel then look no further than Vidago Palace. It is no surprise that this fantastic hotel made our list of recommendations for your next golf and wine tour…

 

Situated in the stunning region of Bordeaux is the new luxurious Golf du Medoc Hotel. The hotel is located within 200 acres of French countryside situated just outside of the city of Bordeaux and features two brilliant golf courses onsite. It is no surprise that this resort is considered to be one of the most renowned golfing destinations in France and is the perfect place for you to enjoy wonderful golf and wine in this wine producing region.

The hotel offers beautiful four-star accommodation which is set opposite the two 18-hole golf courses. Each of the 79 rooms and suites are decorated in natural tones and boast complimentary Wi-Fi, air conditioning, flat-screen TV, a minibar, a safe and a hairdryer. Within the hotel, you can find extensive spa facilities which include an indoor heated swimming pool, a Hamman, a fitness centre and beauty treatments including reflexology.

 

You can find two different restaurants within the hotel; La Table du Medoc serves gourmet cuisine and boasts a very impressive wine list whilst Le Club serves a variety of snacks and is situated by the golf courses – perfect for a post-round snack. Besides the great wine, the two golf courses are the most impressive thing about the Golf du Medoc Hotel and it isn’t hard to see why.

Les Chateaux is the bigger course of the two and is highly regarded as being one of the best courses in France and has been awarded titles such as “The Best Course in France” in both 2014 and 2016 at the World Golf Awards. The course spans over 6,900 yards of French countryside and boasts large fairways and extreme rough areas. The idea of the course was to incorporate the best of the Bordeaux region and this course has not disappointed. This is a captivating golfing experience with heather-lined fairways, immaculate greens and strong, coastal breezes to pose a stern challenge to golfers of all abilities. A fantastic course that will require you to use every club in your bag.

The other course situated at this brilliant golfing resort is the Les Vignes course. This superb course was created in 1991 and has been embedded into the landscape of this stunning, wine-producing region. The course is of similar length to its sister course at just over 6,800 yards and boasts plenty of long pars which are finished with immaculate, fast-paced greens which are almost always surrounded by strategically-placed obstacles. Much like its sister course, a round on this course will challenge your consistency and will provide you with an exciting round from start to finish.

A stay at the Golf du Medoc resort is a perfect choice for golf and wine lovers alike.

Our final suggestion for your next wine and golf tour is a stay within the Lisbon region. Lisbon is the stunning capital city of Portugal and is considered to be one of the most vibrant and historic cities in Europe. You can find brilliant hotels and even better golf at Lisbon Sports Club within the area or, if you are happy to stay outside of the city you can venture up to the Obidos region. Of course, as a capital city, you can find an abundance of brilliant restaurants and bars where you can sample some exquisite food and drink, including very special wines.

 

Lisbon Sports Club was designed by Hawtree and Sons and is a charming 18-hole parkland course which is situated just outside the greater Lisbon area just 20 minutes from the city centre. This is a perfect course for you to play either when you just arrive or right before you fly home as it is situated just a short drive from Lisbon airport. The course is a short one at just under 5,300 metres off the back tees, so it is suitable for those looking for a great, holiday-style course which is playable by golfers of all abilities. There is a stream running through the course which comes in to play on 12 of the 18 holes but otherwise, this is a friendly course with lovely scenery and a great location.

Venturing out of the city, you can explore all areas of the Lisbon region including the Estoril, Sintra and Cascais triangles on the coast to the northwest and on the south, you can find several brilliant courses on the Costa Azul. An hour to the north, you can find Praia d’el Rey and Royal Obidos.

The key golfing areas include Obidos and Cascais. Obidos is widely considered to be one of the most picturesque towns in Portugal and boasts beautiful resorts and courses. The Royal Obidos course is a very special course with unique and challenging holes right from the first one. The second nine holes lie in the central and southern section of the development and six of them meander between an intricate ecosystem of lakes which are interconnected by cascading streams. Also, north of Lisbon, is Praia d’el Rey which is one of Europe’s finest courses, this classic links course is spread over dunes and cliffs with pines inland which are lying in wait to collect any errant shots. This course is a real test of golf to even the most discerning golfers and it is no surprise that we recommend this course to any travelling t the Lisbon region. No matter where you choose to holiday within the Lisbon region, you can find great wine, great golf and great weather and culture.

We hope that you have enjoyed this week’s blog and that next time you are thinking about booking a golf holiday, you think of the great golf and wine that you could enjoy if you choose one of these resorts or destinations for your next golf escape.